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congressional leaders. reid, mcconnell, boehner and pelosi. . joining me to talk more, we have peter alexander standing by at the white house as well as nbc's mike viqueira on capitol hill. some verbal smackdown, basically flipping the lights back on and harry reid taking to the floor to eviscerate speaker boehner. >> the sad part is you often seen the floor opened that way. mitch mcconnell being later today. i'm sure we'll hear something later. to hear it two days after christmas and a matter of days before we go through the fiscal cliff, obviously not encouraging. harry reid says time is running hout. he doesn't know if they could go through the legislative hurdles. if they have the votes around here, they can legislate the sky is green and the grass is blue. that's not an issue. what harry reid is really saying is mitch mcconnell, get on board, don't try to filibuster. of course they're talking about a bill that had raise capital on couples making more than $250,000 a year, and do a few other nuts and bolts that are deemed the bare minimum that the president wants to see done before we hit
with the president, the democratic leader in the senate, harry reid, and the republican leader mitch mcconnell have come together and they have saved the day. they did it again and again. it happened in 2010, when mitch mcconnell actually worked with joe biden to extend the bush tax cuts and they got a bunch of stimulus passed. it happened in 2011 when reid and mcconnell were key in resolving the debt ceiling fight. and people thought it could happen again this time. what's different now is mitch mcconnell is up for re-election. and it is weird to say this aloud, what i'm about to tell you. i have never even thought about how weird it is to say until tonight's broadcast. but the person mitch mcconnell has in his head right now, the person he's maybe a bit afraid of, is ashley judd. yeah. that ashley judd. >> don't cry. don't cry. you're going to be fine. >> okay. >> mitch mcconnell's up for re-election potentially against ashley judd. she might be running against him. and she's polling well. they're only about four points apart. so he doesn't want any trouble. he certainly does not want a conservat
probably say where our senate majority leader harry reid and senator mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, because now all eyes turn to the senate. they're set to come back to town on the 27th. that is thursday. and at this point there are a number of options for some sort of bill that senate majority leader harry reid could put on the floor, but right now it appears democrats in the white house are pushing for something that still concentrates on making sure that income tax rates for those making a quarter million dollars or less don't go up. that said, it's really hard to see how at that rate senator mcconnell might allow some republican senators to support it or that some republican senators would even want to jump on board with that and even harder to see how a bill like that is something that house speaker john boehner would allow to the floor -- allow to the house floor for a vote. so things are very uncertainty point and you're hearing a lot of pessimism as we just heard from democrats and republicans about what will happen with the fiscal cliff and whether we'll go o
departure, the president called all four congressional leaders, reid, mcconnell, boehner and pelosi. now fiery words after reid hit boehner with volley after volley from the senate floor earlier today. >> if we go over the cliff and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives as we speak with four days after today aren't here with the speaker having told them they'll have 48-hours notice. i can't imagine their conscie e consciences. >> speaker boehner's office responding with a terse statement saying in part, quote, senator reid should talk less and legislate more. the house already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. senate democrats have not. joining me now from d.c. nbc news white house correspondent peter alexander. peter, there was word the last hour that the president may have sent some sort of deal. the white house then turning around saying that's not true at all. where was the confusion? >> reporter: well, you hear the frosty statements back and forth as you just indicated there, craig. ah, the holidays in washington. a
? what about senate minority leader mitch mcconnell? >> well, the thing at this point and i'm told by sources is that there are no negotiations going on between senator mitch mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, and senator majority leader harry reid in hawaii for the funeral of daniel inouye and is now back to washington. it could come down to the senate doing something. senator mcconnell might allow this bill i mentioned that i already passed in july, was a threshold for tax hikes, being at the $250,000 level, he may allow democrats to say, the house has to take this, or if there is some sort of vote on another measure, while mitch mcconnell would be unlikely to support it, perhaps he might let some of his republican senators do that, now, this is sort of thinking, coming from democrats, this is not something that mitch mcconnell at this point is planning to do, and it's very much unclear. the fact is, it doesn't just matter what the senate does, don, the house would have to pass something. and whatever were to come out of the senate at this point would require not jus
removed himself from these discussions. harry reid, president obama, and a little bit of mitch mcconnell. what is possible of making a deal? >> the ball seems to be in mitch mcconnell's court. does he filibuster anything that harry reid ends up making with president obama? we have a paired down legislation extending for income below $250,000 and doing something with unemployment insurance that you were talking about? the question is a senate filibuster, democrats need 60 votes and republican votes, mcconnell ends up filibustering and will there be senators who support the legislation and blocking the filibuster. a lot of gymsmanship and republicans when you lock at the situation in the house and the inability to pass along the other things, they are on the verge of taking a lot of blame if they filibuster the legislation and the house doesn't act on it. >> and only democratic support developing here. how much is he going to agree with the president when he has the election in 2014? some folks don't want to appear in any way too close to president obama right now. >> let's move on in term
the cliff. it is really about senator harry reid and mitch mcconnell? >> to develop the political staring contest democrats say republicans need to move and around rego. the president arrived this morning from hawaii and so with the top democrats and republicans but still no update to report. senate majority leader harry reid said it looks like we're going over a cliff and it is up to the house. >> speaker boner shed call people back to washington today and should not have let them go. they are not here. john boner cared more about his speakership than the financial footing. >> they're now working on a fiscal clear solutions they say the majority leader should talk less and legislate more. also mitch mcconnell says the leader is happy to review with the president what he has in mind but that a majority has not put forward a plan. when they do members will review legislation to make decisions on how fast -- best to proceed. >> it takes time for the house and senate to get something done. if there is a solution agreed to buy political leaders it could take beyond the new year before it gets
of the gop and the senate. mitch mcconnell seems to be getting a little nervous about the rumblings around ashley judd's political intentions. >>> in 1823 one of the most famous versus of the holiday season was introduced. >>> nine days until we reach the edge of the fiscal cliff. what is going to be done about that? we will ask california congress woman coming up. hi, i'm phil mickelson. i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain
a bill unless mitch mcconnell allows it to come for a vote for a simple majority. they are seeking assurances that he won't try to block it. for his part he said it's up to the president to lead. unclear if anything is going to happen today. it's becoming more and more likely we will hit january 1st without a resolution. >> peter, obviously the president gets back a little bit from now. what are we hearing about their strategy? we have that very effective bully pulpit? >> it's a good question. the president is supposed to arrive a couple hours from now. 72 degrees for honolulu. better hope he brings sunshine back with him. the real challenge is when he gets here, there is barely 100 hours before the headline hits. he said a short time ago describing their strategy and it remains not too dissimilar. it's not whether we can get a deal done or not. whether mcconnell will filibuster such a deal and will boehner allow a vote. the strategy he indicated moments ago. that doesn't look like good news with the frosty exchange of statements between house speaker boehner yesterday and majority
. that failed. the focus shifts to the senate. reid and mcconnell will really be charged with trying to hammer out the fine details of that deal that can make it through the senate and through the house so that is the challenge moving forward. of course, president obama here in hawaii for his christmas cray case. he played some golf over the weekend. also, attended the memorial service for the late senator daniel inouye. thomas, on a much lighter note, he asked me had i taken my flip flops out last hour. i hadn't but i did since my work is wrapping up for you guys, flip flops are out and i'm ready to join those folks on the beach behind me. >> i'm very proud of you. i don't want to jinx this by talking about when you might have to pack but is there potential that the president may wrap up the vacation a little bit earlier than expected because of, say, harry reid and mitch mcconnell are able to work something out? >> reporter: i think that that is very likely. you heard president obama sort of signal that he's going to do that when he spoke on friday. he talked about the fact he'll be seeing e
to the plate and kick start negotiations? i mean, what about senate minority leader mitch mcconnell? >> well, the thing at this point -- and i'm told by sources -- is that there really are no negotiations going on between senator mitch mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate and senate majority leader harry reid who is actually in hawaii today for the funeral of daniel inouye and is on his way back to washington. it would really come down to the senate doing something. the way democrats see it, there's a possibility that senator mcconnell might allow this bill that i mentioned that already passed in july with the threshold for tax hikes being at the $250,000 level, that he might sort of allow democrats to say okay, the house has to take this or if there is some sort of vote on another measure that while mitch mcconnell would be unlikely to personally support it, perhaps he might let some of his republican senators do that. now, this is sort of thinking coming from democrats. this is not something that mitch mcconnell at this point is planning to do, and it's very much unclear. the fac
as senator reid and his opposite number, minority leader mitch mcconnell. but today, mcconnell gave no indication of movement. >> last night i told the president we'd be happy to look at whatever he proposes, but the truth is we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said this is a conversation we should have had months ago. and republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> reporter: adding to the urgency, treasury secretary timothy geithner warned he'll have to begin taking "extraordinary measures" to postpone a government default. the government is on track to hit its borrowing limit on monday, he said with no prospect of congressional action to raise the limit. here now to help us unravel what's going on is todd zwillich. he's washington correspondent for "the takeaway" on public radio international. todd, welcome back. decode this for us. are the players privately as bleak about the prospects as their public statement suggests? >> not as bleak, margaret, but bleak
the focus shifts to the senate. senate majority leader harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell will have to try to hammer out some sort of a compromise to avoid going over the cliff, but as you pointed out in your introduction, a lot of senators over the weekend expressed concern that, in fact, we will go over the fiscal cliff. of course, if is that happens, the economy could eventually slip back into recession. one interesting point, thomas, though, last time that members of congress worked between christmas and new year's was 1996. that was during the government shutdown. this is really a rare occurrence for members of congress to have to come back and work out legislation that they went able to get done before the christmas holiday. >> the president is supposed to stay there for how long? >> well, of course, the white house not really giving us specifics about the president's travel plans at this point in time. the reality is i think the president is himself trying to figure out what he is going to do, but we do expect that he will cut his vacation short. you've heard the president hi
, was senator mitch mcconnell and here we have the majority leader in the senate, harry reid. let's listen in for a second. >> the house has reported by the press and we all know, one of the plans didn't have a name, it wasn't plan b. i don't know which plan it was because they've had a number over there. but this plan was to show the american people that the $250,000 ceiling on raising taxes wouldn't pass in the house. why didn't they have that vote? because it would have passed. they wanted to kill it. the speaker wanted to show everybody that it wouldn't pass the house. but he couldn't bring it up for vote because it wouldn't pass. republicans -- a myriad of republicans think it's the fair thing to do and of course every democrat would vote for that. the republican leader finds himself frustrated that the president has called on him to help address the fiscal cliff. he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. he complains that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that wo
senator mcconnell decides whether to filibuster the measure and whether the other republicans in the party will filibuster, they have to see the details in the proposal. will there be an estate tax provision? how will unemployment which is expected to be extended? will it be paid for? what spending measures will be in this and spending cuts, etc. there will be more details spelled out and where will that come from? will it come from a phone call and staff here at the white house and spelled out by the staff of the senate majority leader harry reid. all that was is yet to be determined. perhaps senator connell's office believes it will come from different sources and there is a lot of potential for confusion with such little time left and so much pressure on the line. dana might have more information. >> a lot of -- if this happens that happens. you are right. hey, dana,y want to go to you. across the wire the house may be coming back into session on sunday, but do we know, is there movement towards getting there? is that confirmed? >> yes, we have it confirmed. i apologize. there is a conf
. it is up to the senate to do something. you have senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, the republican saying it is up to the democrats to do something. we'll not do anything until president obama and the democrats come up with a plan and president obama actually late yesterday did call all four leaders, majority, minority leaders in the house and senate that includes mitch mcconnell and said the first time a democrat called him since thanksgiving to talk about this. so they're talking but there is no indication anybody is actually doing anything right now. gregg: what about harry reid? what's his, does he have anything at all maybe towards the end of the week he will put on the table? i've been hearing he will put to a vote an extension of the bush tax cuts for anybody making under $250,000 a year, extend unemployment benefits for some 2 million people that are about to lose them. what are you hearing? >> right. he sounded pretty pessimistic this morning but that could change and there's, kind of a fight, procedurally between the house and the senate in a sense that if reid originates
be a protest vote and make him go to a second ballot. also mitch mcconnell doesn't want his fingerprints on this because he doesn't want to be primaried. so you have these sort of -- shall we say, the lack of courage or ziesh to move on this from mcconnell and boehner, it's directly tied to prospects to serve in current jobs. it's a fascinating subplot. >> i want to pick up on that on something jared was starting to say. some degree we're playing a bit of a game of semantics here. because there's some calculation that the republicans say we go over the cliff and then technically we can be seen as not voting to increase taxes, but we can be seen as voting for cutting taxes once the sort of -- we go over the cliff and we're on the other side of it. am i right about that? >> yeah. it's a very cynical ploy. the idea of the tax automatically reset for everybody. they can say i didn't vote for that. they all go up. and then they can vote to lower taxes for the $250,000 and below households. that's 98% of households. that's a -- that's something like a -- you know, a multi -- that's something l
to negotiate. we have not heard a word from leader mcconnell. nothing is happening. >> reporter: mitch mcconnell, the top republican in the senate, said it's reid who hasn't reached out for weeks. >> the phone never rang. and so now here we are, five days from the new year, and we might finally start talking. >> reporter: but talking about what? so far, reid has not introduced the scaled-down bill he was reportedly working on over the christmas holiday. sources say that bill would extend the bush-era tax cuts for americans making less than $250,000 a year. with the clock ticking, reid pointed a finger at the house of representatives, which still hasn't returned to washington. >> i can't imagine their consciences. they're out wherever they are around the country, and we're here trying to get something done. >> reporter: from his home in ohio, speaker boehner called on the house to come back this sunday, december 30. that's just one day before the fiscal cliff deadline when income tax cuts and payroll tax cuts are set to expire, $110 billion worth of spending cuts kick in, and two million jobless
. this is spokesperson from senator mitch mcconnell's office. last night the president called senator mcconnell, the first democrat to do so on the fiscal cliff since thanksgiving and other leaders to talk about the need for the senate to act. the leader is happy to review what the president has in mind but to date the senate democrat majority has not put forward a plan. when they do members on both sides of the aisle will review the legislation and make decisions on how to best proceed, end quote. this is a serious back and forth. let's get some perspective. chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel is live for us in washington. a short time ago, another key lawmaker did not sound very optimistic, mike. >> reporter: harris, you would be right. that would be senate majority leader harry reid. seemed kind of irritated that house republicans and all house members are not here in washington trying to work out a deal on the fiscal cliff. here is more from leader reid a short time ago. >> if we go over the cliff and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representa
of senator mitch mcconnell? guest: the line that comes from the speakers office all the time is the line of communication remain open. i don't know how much talking they did as the president was in hawaii spending time with his family and the speaker was back home in ohio, i believe. i don't know that for sure. everyone was doing their family time and not really working that significantly on something. i think there was probably some minimal conversation, but not a lot. as for the senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, i think that is a good one. a lot has been made in the past few days about him taking a higher profile role in these negotiations. while i don't like prognosticating into the future, we can look at the past in some of the previous negotiations of congress and the kind of role he has played. almost all of these talks, whether it was about government shutdown in the spring of 2011 or the debt limit debate in the summer of 2011 or the payroll tax-cut debate last year, those negotiations started at a level between the president and speaker but always broke down at that level
. the leadership has gone mum on that. we know there's not been communication between boehner and mcconnell, obama and boehner. are you amazed with this short amount of time to go there seems to be no sense of urgency on either side? >> am i amazed, given what we went through with the debt ceiling, no, i'm not amazed. i think there are forces here in this town that would like for us, sure people would like for there to be a deal, but going over the cliff on january 1st when there's this notion where it's not really a cliff, it's a slope, it's a curb depending who you talk to, that you can repair the damage if you get a deal done, you know, a few days after january 3rd. i think people feel like they can slow walk. as we saw last week when plan b failed, you know, speaker boehner said it's up to the white house and the democrats to come up with a deal. >> washing my hands with it. what's interesting is what you just touched on, conventional wisdom has grown now to it's a cliff, it's a cliff, we can't go off it, to we're okay for two to three weeks afterwards, the treasury can stay in place. do you t
. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is saying this is the first contact he's had from a democrat since thanksgiving. you need unanimous continue sent for a lot of things to happen. >> and we're now hearing that the white house is denying there's a new plan from the president. so the white house and harry reid are both denying scott brown and gopas about this new physical cliff plan which puts us back to square one. you tackled this issue of john boehner's control over his conference. in a really interesting way. you basically said he's a substitute teacher in the sense that even when he disciplines folks like holtzcamp who were insubordinate and ripped them of committee assignments, the whole episode gave boehner the feel of a substitute teacher who is accountable for what happened in the classroom but isn't really in control of the kids. so these guys deny him and yet he doesn't have control of them at the end. >> it's a handful of guys, maybe as many as 20, 30, something like that who basically are completely uncontrollable for boehner. it is a large enough number that he can't put s
then what we've been hearing from republicans, particularly mitch mcconnell's office is we can't talk about whether we can pass anything until we actually see the legislation. so our understanding from these sources who are familiar with the call and familiar with the process is that the president will put the plan in legislate lative language. what is the plan? the president's tax plan he campaigned on for five years which is to let the tax plan expire for households making less than $250,000. he would add unemployment insurance. the thinking here is he would potentially also add extending the estate tax cut. the estate tax has been at a relatively low level. it expires also at the ipd of the year. but, you know, this is all you know, to'ing and fro'ing right now to see if it's possible to pass anything to keep most americans' taxes where they are before the end of the year when everybody's tax go up. >> we heard from senator reid earlier today. they were dealing, in his words, with a dictatorship. are we expected to hear from him or any of the players from the hill in terms of trying to m
-mart is going to sell but how mitch mcconnell and president are going to do in the future. so it's causing people to pull back from making investments and that is what powers the economy in the long run. >> arthel: here is a question. we all paid those higher taxes when president clinton was in office and everybody seemed to be doing well. so what is different now? the same people paying higher taxes then, why are they reluctant now. they feel the government doesn't know what to do with the money? >> we know what they do with the money, they waste a tremendous amount of it. to president clinton's credit those tax hikes came within the environment of deregulation, rules were cut back and we have the opposite going on right now. consumers elect to go spend but consumers are reluctant and producers are going up and regulatory costs makes it hard to make a buck in this type of environment. >> arthel: all right. happy new year. thank you so much. >> secretary of state hillary clinton is returning to the state department next week after three weeks off from a stomach virus and concussion that ke
. it it is up to mitch mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate and harry reid, the democratic leader in the senate. if they can come up with something and mcconnell would have to agree not to filibuster, if they could come up with something and pass it and then send it back to the house and if boehner would permit a vote knowing he would only have a minority of his own party and he would have enough democratic votes to pass it, those are two things that have to happen. whether those can happen qukly enough to raw void the cliff remains to be seen. but it will take some cooperation on the senate side and boehner's willingness to let it come up in the senate knowing his own party won't necessarily support -- won't support it enough to avoid the cliff. we need some leadership here. >> matt it has to come from both parties and from the president. and let's face it, congressional approval ratings are a low, low. what is the impact of this? do you think american voters are sick and tired of things coming down to the wire? they will be hit hard? just about everybody after the first of the y
they think needs to be done is to get senate leader mcconnell to agree not to filibuster any action in the senate and then get speaker boehner to agree to put a bill forward on the house floor for a vote. if those two pieces happen, then they feel like there could be something done before new year's. so it's sort of con joeling mitch mcconnell to agree to those actions on those parts. if the president can get that done, we don't have much time left for the rest of the pieces to fall into place. >> jessica, i'm sure you saw harry reid on the floor there today really going after speaker boehner, which is just more and more of the blame game. can anything get done when all they are doing is fighting and blaming each other? >> for the longest time, we thought this is a lot for the last few weeks of public posturing. behind the scenes, they must have a secret deal worked out, but in the end they will come out with a deal to get this done before new year's. but it hasn't turned out that way, has it? so it's not surprising there's an enormous amount of partisanship given each side wants to
can do. >> right. >> so i want you to deal with harry reid, possibly senator mcconnell and you all come up with a deal. and, you know, in a way, that's kind of insulting to us in -- on the democratic side in the house. >> sure. >> we all represent 700,000 people, the last thing we want is our speaker throwing up his hands, not allowing us to come in to do the people's work but particularly, when we have so many americans who could be harmed by our failure to act. and it's quite irresponsible. by the way, i would give some advice to speaker boehner, he needs to talk to nancy pelosi. when nancy pelosi was speaker, she found a way even with maximum republican opposition to bring her diverse caucus. that is a caucus with diverse views together to get things done like the affordable care act. like dodd frank. she got it done. >> that's great advice, and we hope he listens. >> i hope so. >> thank you so much, my friend. >> my pleasure. >>> let's turn to ryan grim. mr. grim, the jobless are really the only segment of the population who get an immediate hit if we go over the fiscal cliff.
take the nod here? >> mcconnell is worried. he and polling about ashley judd, if he is polling he is worried. his numbers are not great and his colleague was not his choice, rand paul, to be the other senate, he was the tea party candidate. so mitch mcconnell is worried. >> she can bring in a lot of outside money, coming in from around the country and hollywood. >> she can, she has a few problems. she lives in tennessee and scott land where her husband is from. so a lot of kentucky voters will say, what does she have to do with us anymore. she has name recognition though, and in the game of running for political office that is important. >> another development, south carolina, nicki haley there announcing she was picking congressman tim scott to replace jim demint. and scott will be the only african american in the senate and one of only a handful in the history of the senate. who will replace scott may be the question here. ? well there's certainly any number of candidates, strom thurmond ran against tim scott before. there's always the possibility, mark san ford, this will be a
, perhaps mitch mcconnell's involved in this, as well. so when we look at this, david, who's pulling the strings now? who will sit down and make the deal happen? >> there's eyes on mitch mcconnell. he's been influential in past debt negotiations. a year and a half ago in sort of coming up with something that his fellow republicans would like and i think the question is, though, as meredith said, john boehner doesn't seem to have full control of his caucus and looking at the house, is boehner comfortable with moving something with a majority of democratic support and some republican support to put it over the threshold. looks like there's a lot of shifting going on about who to blame going over the cliff and probably not a good sign because they're setting up who to blame and might be an inkling to come. >> the votes not on the side of boehner last week, meredith, if there's a bipartisan deal out of the senate, will those who were not for john boehner's plan "b" then agree with a bipartisan bill coming over from the senate? >> does it matter? if you look at the bipartisan agreement th
mcconnell. she's a main power, a fund-raising machine and eighth-generation kentuckyian who could take on mcconnell in his own state. >> probably watching that state today. a business kentucky fan. >>> for all the 13 to watch, we're putting a link to the article on our website. log-on. that's there as well as a whole lot more. >>> thomas roberts is up next. thomas, good to see you, i see it's a gray suit day. >> i got the memo. >>> next hour getting your driving gear ready. the ping-pong game continuing. senate majority leader harry reid blasting house speak john boehner moments ago for being m.i.a. from the capitol. there's new word the president has called all forecongressional leaders, hose thousands phone calls went. me the reverend al sharpton is teaming up with the commissioner ray kelly to push for an assault weapons ban. this is the talk over arming teachers or at least armed guards in schools has picked up -- we're talking about one mayor e south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it o
are right. host: let me go to "the national journal." three reasons why mitch mcconnell will not save the fiscal cliff negotiations. the first one, most importantly, he is missing his dance partner joe biden. he has been kept on the sidelines during negotiations. some republicans think his absence is a sign that the president is not serious about closing a deal. mitch mcconnell is no longer the top republican in washington. it is easy to forget that when he struck a deal to extend the bush tax cuts, boehner had won the house a month before but was not wielding the gavel. finally, mitch mcconnell has stayed on offense. on the senate floor on friday he argued the democrats poisoned the well by declaring boehner's plan b dead on arrival. >> and he is up for reelection in 2014. by all polling, it looks like it will be a lot tougher. he also has a colleague in rand paul, who is a tea partier. you put all those factors together and it could be that mcconnell may have to step up because that is what you have to do to get some sort of deal at the moment, we have not seen that happen. host: fr
suffered just as much as these people do. the other thing -- we have senators, like mitch mcconnell, and he, his wife, and his in- laws benefit from his position because they are part of a chinese shipping magnate. his wife was secretary of trade under the bush administration. they are using their position to help china, and china is the biggest abortion country in the world. when you throw all this into a big mixture, you cannot blame the gun. host: thank you for the call and comment. a bitter fight had on gun control, according to the washington post. we are following some of the options on what is next. speaker boehner is confronting a political cliff over the budget track is, putting out that the speaker's leadership and legacy remained at stake. they point out that in a show of support, house leader eric cantor. at a news conference with the speaker in a call to extend the tax rates. some have urged congressman tom price of georgia to challenge john deere for the job. much more on what is next for the fiscal cliff. one week before we reach that point. the deadline is december 31, janua
tomorrow afternoon. host: both majority leader harry reid and mitch mcconnell both expressed optimism after the meeting with the president. what is the basis of their optimism? is this a sign we might be one step, two steps, through step closer to a deal? caller: it does appear we are a step closer to a deal. they are talking about doing is extraordinarily popular stuff. except for the big marquee item, which is letting taxes rise on the wealthy. the rest of the stuff they are looking at doing the stuff they do all the time. it is extending an expiring tax policies. they know the benefit businesses. extent college tuition credits. there are looking at protecting people from the alternative minimum tax. it is all very urgent stuff that needs to be done. there are only two remotely controversial pieces of this, that is what to do with the estate tax and to how to define the wealthy people whose taxes are going to go up. the rest of it is, basically protecting people from tax hikes. i guess extending unemployment benefits and sometimes controversial for the republicans. it appears to have agre
expressed by the then-director of the national intelligence mike mcconnell, the then-c.i.a. director michael hayden, the attorney general at the time, michael mukasey, as they discussed the consequences that we would have to deal with if we continued not to move forward and put this act back in place. the agreement we reached balanced the concerns of those who feared that the national security agency had overreached with the other balance was the ongoing authority that the intelligence community needed to protect the country. that agreement is before us again to be reauthorized for another five years. the fisa amendments act protects individuals in the united states from so-called reverse targeting. it's one of the concerns people had five years ago. this would be a process which in theory could be used to monitor the communications of american citizens under the guise of spying on terrorists. it also continues to ensure that any communication originating in the united states caught in the fisa process is minimized. now, what does that mean? it means it's handled in a way that american commu
are on the senate this morning as majority leader harry reid and minority leader mcconnell true to cobble together a last-minute plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. president obama saying he is modestly optimistic that they can come up with a plan in time. on friday, president obama met with the four top congressional leaders here at the white house for about an hour. sources close to those talks say that the president gave lawmakers two options, either come up with a plan that can make it through both chambers or put his proposal up for a vote. under the president's plan, the bush-era tax cuts would be extended for those making $250,000 or less with rates allowed to raise on top income earners. it would also extend unemployment insurance benefits. president obama saying the time for action is now. >> the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound. ordinary folks, they do their jobs. they meet deadlines. they sit down, and they discuss things and then things happen. if there are disagreements, they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elect
mitch mcconnell? guest: the line that comes from the speakers office all the time is the line of communication remain open. i don't know how much talking they did as the president was in hawaii spending time with his family and the speaker was back home in ohio, i believe. i don't know that for sure. everyone was doing their family time and not really working that significantly on something. i think there was probably some minimal conversation, but not a lot. as for the senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, i think that is a good one. a lot has been made in the past few days about him taking a higher profile role in these negotiations. while i don't like prognosticating into the future, we can look at the past in some of the previous negotiations of congress and the kind of role he has played. almost all of these talks, whether it was about government shutdown in the spring of 2011 or the debt limit debate in the summer of 2011 or the payroll tax-cut debate last year, those negotiations started at a level between the president and speaker but always broke down at that level
december 16th. senate minority leader mcconnell has said he is eager to hear what the president has to say. that's the latest here at the white house, back to you. >> sherri, thank you very much. we've been getting responses about the negotiatings from viewers. we want to hear your voice on to topic. go to our facebook page. >>> president vladimir putin signed a bill banning americans from adopting russian children this morning. he signed the ban in retaliation for a new law passed by the u.s. congress that punishes russian officials for human rights abuses. many russians protested this week and even the russian foreign minister the law is a bad idea. >>> taking a look at our other top stories now. sad news this morning, desert storm commander norman schwartzkopf has died. the retired general died from economy indications of pneumonia. he was given the nickname, storming norman and best known for leading international forces in iraq in 1991. he was 78 years old. >>> former president george h.w. bush is in intensive care in a hospital this morning in houston county. he is battling several c
at this point is not in discussion with not only speaker john boehner but the senate minority leader, mitch mcconnell and perhaps because of that, you have some of that pessimism of senator liberman being shared by republicans. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes and sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. gets additional tax revenue, gets to cut the military which democrats have been calling for for years and blame republicans for it. >> now, all eyes are now on the senate, which will reconvene on thursday. seen as likely that president obama will head back to washington from hawaii here. senate minority leader harry reid has the task of trying to conjure up something that might be able to pass the house in addition to the senate publicly. the white house is saying they want tax rates to remain in effect for those making up to $250,000 per year, but it's unclear if that's something. very unclear, very unquestioned that house republicans could swallow that. we're hearing aing you significant possibility we go over
, he'll need leader mcconnell and the minority leader, mcconnell's support in order to move a deal in the senate. so, i hate to say it. i'm not terribly optimistic we will not drift off the fiscal cliff here. >> heather: after the rejection of speaker boehner's plan b, by his own party, which included a tax hike for millionaires, what might such a deal look like? and do you think it is possible? >> you know, i agree with bill. i think the action definitely shifts to the senate now. i share the president's optimism that he expressed in his friday press conference that i think they can come back and get a deal. look, when you actually look at the numbers on this, they are not far apart as the president said, and they are about $60 billion or so, per year apart and that is something that can be easily overcome, i think the challenge for both parties, is the deal they are talking about, right now is the 2.2, to $2.4 trillion range and when look at what economists say is necessary, they are looking at a deal in the the 3 to $4 trillion range and, so i think the challenge now is going --
to senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell and whether they work out something short of $4 trillion grand bargain. last-minute stop gap. attending tax cut for people making $250,000 or less. and unemployment benefits for 2 million people who will lose the benefits a week after christmas. >> it is going to be a patch. because in four days we can't solve everything. >> yet, other republicans note the president short-term fix raises some taxes, yet punt spending cuts until next year. >> i would vote for revenue, including the tax rate hike though i don't like them to get, to save the country from becoming greece. i'm not going to set aside the $1.2 trillion in cuts. >> if the president does return to washington this week, unclear whether he will come back here to hawaii for new year's with his family. joe lieberman says he expects the senate to be in session on new year's eve, working on a deal down to the wire. >> thank you, ed. markets dropped on shortened day of trading. dow fell 52. s&p 500 lost 3.5. nasdaq down 8.5. might be a blue christmas for retailers. shoppers came out in dro
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